Letters to the editor July 22

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Spotted Bear rangers

My wife and I just spent the better part of a week camping, fishing and hiking in the Spotted Bear Ranger District. I wanted to pen a quick note to give kudos to the staff, both at the ranger station as well as in the field.

The folks at the station were exceptionally helpful to a pair of first time visitors and while we didn’t have any real face-to-face contact with the folks in the field, the facilities at the campgrounds were kept in great shape. These Forest Service employees, seen and unseen, are great ambassadors for the area. The professionalism and enthusiasm for the place that they work shines through.

—Mark Peterson, Bozeman

Juxtaposition

Saturday’s (July 13) Daily Inter Lake front page was very appropriate! Headline reads: Nurses vote in favor of unionization. Then right below the picture titled “Going Batty.”

—Dexter Hamilton, Kalispell

Setting things straight

Janet Walters’ recent letter (June 16) rightfully takes the Daily Inter Lake to task for featuring a story on extremist groups that cited as its authority the Southern Poverty Law Center. The credibility of that organization mirrors that of many of the organizations it calls “hate groups” who cannot justify their position with any factual rationale.

Let me explain for those who still think logically and honestly. What have the Jews actually done throughout history to justify anti-Semitism? Have they murdered thousands of innocents? Denigrated women? Persecuted other religions? Committed crimes against humanity? Or have they won more Nobel prizes per capita than any other group?

What have non-whites, like blacks, Latinos, Asians and others done that would justify condemnation of that entire race or ethnic group, and in any way validate a white supremacy ideology? There may be a small percentage of bad actors in any group, but wisdom advises us not to assume that represents the entire group, absent evidence to the contrary.

Again, there is no factual justification that rationally supports such prejudice or bigotry, meaning it really is nothing more than an indication of mental/emotional dysfunction that should probably be treated by professionals.

However, when there is factual and historic evidence that a particular group has murdered thousands of innocent men, women and children, denigrated women, violently persecuted other religions, and committed crimes against humanity for 1,400 years and still doing it; only someone who is severely mentally incapacitated could ignore or fail to correctly assume this group is the essence of evil and a dangerous threat to us all.

But should we then justifiably “hate” all Muslims, since only a minority percentage engage in such acts? Maybe not, but the term “Islamophobia” would imply all of them. Actually, they all are culpable since the majority refuse to condemn what the minority is doing, and are therefore complicit at least in the passive sense. We also might want to look up the definition of a “phobia.”

Just trying to set things straight.

—Tom Osborne, Kalispell

Problem with shopping toxic rhetoric

Senator Steve Daines’ statement applauding President Trump’s tweet telling some Democratic congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” is running into a few problems in Montana. Senator Daines doubled down, calling Democrats “unAmerican,” “radical,” and anti-Semitic,” essentially framing them as enemies of America. The Montana Republican Party repeated the same sentiments in a letter this week. This attack is a rerun from the McCarthy era, when people’s lives were destroyed with false accusations.

The problem with shopping this toxic rhetoric around Montana is that we know our neighbors. No matter where we live, work, play, or worship, we all know people who don’t agree with our personal or political beliefs. We all have friends who vote for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or Independents, and are good, upstanding members of our communities. And we recognize an attempt to stir up hostility with amped-up catch phrases.

Refuse to be divided over the vitriol in Washington D.C. Refuse to let politicians ignore the First Amendment. Refuse to allow a single political party ­— any political party — to act as if they have the right to determine who is unAmerican. Refuse to stop being caring, thoughtful neighbors. That’s what Montana is about.

—Cherilyn DeVries, Kalispell

Where is the civility?

It has been several days since a most powerful man used racist and xenophobic language against four congresswomen because they disagreed with him. Dissent is not traitorous. It is a right we have. Where is the civility that we so desperately need right now in our nation?

Maybe, just as serious an attack on civility is the near silence from the great majority of the elected officials of his political party across the nation.

I yearn for the time when compromise wasn’t a dirty word and civility ruled most days.

—Dave LeBleu, Kalispell

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